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Suns’ Devin Booker Believes Team Doesn’t Deserve Break

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As the NBA All-Star break approaches, Devin Booker believes that his team, the Phoenix Suns, don’t deserve a break.

The Suns are struggling yet again, and are in the midst of a 14-game losing streak, and while Booker will be defending his crown during the 3-Point Contest during All-Star weekend festivities, he believes the team instead needs to get to work.

“We don’t deserve an All-Star break,” Booker said, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

“We need to work on our game as players. I know me, I’m going to be at All-Star weekend, but right after that, I’ve got to touch a basketball and still polish up on things. I hope that everybody has that same mindset.”

Booker knows that the Suns, who currently own the second-worst record in the league, have a lot of work to do.

“It’s just fighting that uphill battle,” Booker said. “When you’re fighting that uphill battle, any mistake can ruin it. Just do our work early so we don’t have to fight uphill all game.”

Boston Celtics

Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Credits Long Plane Ride for Big Win Over Warriors

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The Boston Celtics roller coaster season moved in the right direction as they had a big, blow-out victory over the Golden State Warriors in Oakland on Tuesday night.

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving credits a long plane ride, in which he had a lengthy talk with Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens, for helping the team snap out of their recent funk, and the good feeling has spread throughout the team.

“I understand it’s one game,” Hayward said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “You are going to have ups and downs in the season. I’ll try to build off the things I did correctly tonight, and the next time you have a bad game, try to learn from that one.”

Hayward’s recent play has provided a spark for the team.

“It makes our team even better when he’s the confident Gordon and playing like the Gordon we know,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said.

“We know it’s been tough on him. That’s one thing about him, you have to give it to him: That man keeps working and working. Even though things aren’t going for him, he continues to work, he doesn’t quit, and that’s why we’re so, so optimistic about getting the old Gordon back, because we see how hard he works.”

“That long plane ride helped us out,” Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said. “I’ll just say that. That long plane ride helped us out.

“We needed it. It was just we were going to get to a point where we were just going to get tired of fighting each other, fighting the outside world. And it doesn’t even really matter. So, we just wanted to come out here and just play basketball. This is our sanctuary. And we have to do everything to protect it. We can’t let anybody infiltrate it.”

Irving opened up about the conversations he had with both Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

“Well, I mean, it gets a little overwhelming, like I said, but this is just the business I’m in,” Irving said. “The business part of it is what makes it terrible for me, honestly, dealing with all this s—. I’m going to be honest with you guys. The basketball part, I have to keep that fun. That’s where I’m great, that’s where I love to play and be around my teammates, that’s what makes me happy.

“The business part of it is going to be the business. Personal side of being out here with my teammates is the only thing that should matter. It wasn’t really a change of perspective; it was letting the guard down completely and just not thinking I’m at odds with everybody. It’s not a competition in this locker room; it’s a competition out there. That’s the most important thing.”

“Talking with Brad was very helpful, talking with Danny was very helpful, and just expressing myself rather than keeping it all in,” Irving continued. “That made it very easy to just go out and just have fun playing basketball.”

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Suns Kelly Oubre Jr. Wants to Stay Long-Term

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Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is slated to hit restricted free agency later this summer, but he prefers to stay in Phoenix for the long-term, hopeful that a long-term deal can be worked out.

Oubre was acquired from the Washington Wizards earlier this season as part of the Trevor Ariza trade.

“Why would I go anywhere else?” Oubre said, according to Kellan Olson of Arizona Sports. 

“I’m here, I’m getting established and I’m not a guy that really wants to be on a million teams in my tenure in the league and I just want to create a dynasty and a legacy here in Phoenix with [Deandre Ayton], [Devin Booker], [Mikal Bridges], all the guys in the locker room. It’s beautiful.”

The Suns continue to struggle and are lottery-bound, yet again, but Oubre sees improvement from the team.

“We’re learning from our mistakes that we’ve made in previous games and throughout the season and we’re starting to realize that we are definitely capable of competing with the best so we have to continue to go out there and prove that,” Oubre said. 

“We’re just trying to get some momentum going into next year.”

“I’m just so happy that Phoenix, (Suns general manager James Jones) made the call and traded for me to come to Phoenix man because that was the biggest blessing of my career so far,” Oubre said.

“One-hundred percent I would love to remain Phoenix.”

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Golden State Warriors

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Discusses Criticism of Defense

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Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins has had an up-and-down run with the Warriors this year, but has shows instances of the dominant All-Star form that he showed throughout the majority of his career.

As Cousins continues to get acclimated with his new team, and get back to form following his return from a lengthy injury, many have pointed to Cousins’ struggles on the defensive end of the court, to which Cousins takes issue with.

“It’s an adjustment to try to figure things out and see how we’re gonna play with the coverages” Cousins said following Golden State’s loss to the Boston Celtics, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.

“I’m gonna adjust to this game, and like I said, we’re trying to figure it out right now, and what’s best, and it’s a different look with the personnel in the game.

“To say I’m struggling, it’s a bit foolish. It’s a different look every day with the personnel. Of course with Kyrie [Irving] and Jayson Tatum you want to be up on the screen, and then in other situations you play other guards back.

When you play a big, you play in the drop.”

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